By Anthony Ogbonna
… Says ‘You can’t easily restore hope in nation damaged by destructive leadership struggles’
The immediate past President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has warned politicians to avoid what he described as destructive leadership struggles that once led to civil war in Nigeria and which results to loss of lives and properties. He said such destructive tendencies lead to the corruption of the people’s psyche which becomes very difficult to wipe out.
He revealed the worries of some Nigerians concerning whether the coming elections would be peaceful, especially following the nature of the leadership tussles by political gladiators in the country.
He, therefore, warned, especially the politicians, to desist from playing roles capable of plunging the country into chaos because, according to him, erasing those feelings of a loss of peace and tranquility due to those tendencies is often difficult.
The former President gave the statement at a peace conference with the theme: ‘Peaceful elections and national development,” organised by the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, on Thursday, in Abuja.
According to Jonathan, anyone who truly loves Nigeria will not lend support to any form of violence or threat to the peace of the country.
Dr. Jonathan urged all stakeholders in the country saying, “…we must do everything to avoid conflict because it is always difficult to erase these feelings.”
According to him, “If people feel INEC and similar bodies are fair to all, it will make citizens behave better but if you do otherwise, it will be a recipe for crisis,”
“We are convinced that anyone, either in government or outside government, who truly loves Nigeria will not want to play the role of the villain by lending his support to any action that instigates crises.”
“As the ongoing democratic process unfolds, with the rest of the world watching with keen interest, we are also mindful of the worries of Nigerians on whether it would end peacefully.
“Our political leaders must realise that the greatest and most enduring legacy to leave behind is that of peace and development.”
Jonathan urged politicians to desist from acts “that often lead to loss of lives, degradation of values as well as destruction of private and public assets.”
“These breed of politicians often ignore the fact that to be patriotic is to love your country and be prepared to live and die for her honour, reputation, freedom, progress and the ascendancy of the common good.”
“You can restore destroyed infrastructure almost to its former state or even better, but you cannot easily repair people’s psyche, reconcile aggrieved persons and restore hope in a nation, once they are damaged in destructive leadership struggles.”
“We experienced the civil war that ended since 1970 but up to date, the feelings are still in even children who were not born at that time because of the stories they get told and that is why we must do everything to avoid conflict because it is always difficult to erase these feelings.”